Festival Season is upon us, and for proof of this, look no further than Insomniac’s own, Beyond Wonderland. The two-day massive festival held its 9th edition of the beloved event this past weekend from March 22 – 23 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. There were over 110,000 headliners in attendance this year, breaking every ticketing record in the process.
Everyone from Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, REZZ, and ZHU played, devastating the Southern California dancefloors. Beyond Wonderland was made up of four unique stages, as well as multiple art cars. With over 90+ artist performing throughout the festival grounds, there wasn’t a single spot to be found that was void of Beyond’s tantalizing soundtrack.
2019‘s Beyond Wonderland consisted of four different stages. These being Queen’s Domain, Mad Hatter’s Castle, Caterpillar’s Garden, and Cheshire Woods. This years event had dedicated VIP dance areas at all four of its stages, leaving those who like their elbow space a spot for them. Queen’s Domain was this year’s mainstage, which saw everyone from Rezz, to Seven Lions, Salvatore Ganacci, and Deorro grace the stage. As expected, they absolutely tore the place apart.
Mad Hatter’s Castle
Mad Hatter’s Castle had a very Bass heavy lineup Friday night, as it was hosted by Bassrush. This saw the likes of Dubloadz, Ganja White Night, and Rusko take the stage, with the latter putting on one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from the English DJ & Record Producer. Saturday night saw a more diverse lineup for the Castle. Scheduled for the night were YehMe2 (Formally 1/2 of Flosstradamus), ZHU, Said The Sky, and SAYMYNAME, who all brought the heat.
Caterpillars Garden was a bit crazy when compared to the other stages. On Friday night, it was hosted by Dreamstate, enchanting the dancefloor with artists Andrew Rayel, Liquid Soul, and Aly & Fila. Saturday night was a whole other story. It was Saturday night that Basscon took control of the garden and really turned things up a couple of notches.
Lady Faith, DJ Isaac, & Darren Styles all brought their varying styles of Bass music crushing the dancefloor in the process. The night culminated in a Lil Texas set, which saw the Tex-Core creator close out the stage. If you haven’t seen Lil Texas yet, I highly recommend you do. The man might just be the face of the new American Hardcore Movement.
Various stages we’re hosted by Bassrush, BASSCON, Dreamstate, & Insomniac Records. In addition to these, this years event was a special one. This is because Mau5trap played host to the Cheshire Woods stage for the very first time on Friday night. The Woods featured artist like i_o, Feed Me, & No Mana, as well as numerous others. It goes without saying that the night was full of non-stop Mau5trap action. The night culminated with another first, with that being Testpilot’s first Beyond Wonderland performance.
Insomniac Records hosted Cheshire Woods on Saturday night. Those who found themselves at the stage were in for a treat. Codes, Bijou, Wax Motif, & Noizu were all performing, and if you’re familiar with them you know that they are some of the best at what they do. These stages were STACKED.
If this year’s Beyond Wonderland was the first time you’ve seen Seven Lions then you were in for a special treat. Seven Lions is notorious for incorporating a variety of styles of dubstep, psytrance, and melodic tracks within his set. This weekend, Seven Lions ended his remarkable set with the vocals from his recent collaborative track “First Time” with Slander and Dabin. As the Queen’s Domain lit up with massive energy, the entire crowd shouted the vocals to “First Time” to end Seven Lions performance strong.
Beyond Wonderland was one of Ekali’s first performances in two months since he has been vigorously working on new tunes for his fans. Ekali brought the heat to the festival as he played a massive set to make his come back one to remember. Now, fans are anxiously waiting for new music from Ekali but the wait should be over soon.
With Insomniac being known for their art cars, as well as the surprise sets that get played on them it’s no secret that they had something in store for us. Hardwell‘s Hip Hop set during EDC ’17 on the Mayan Art Car is the perfect example of this. Another is the secret D&B set that Kaskade played at Beyond this year. If you were there, it was awesome. If not, then check this out. This took place at their secret ‘Rabbit Hole‘ stage. I even managed to snag a few moments of a rare tech-house set from Carnage at this stage.
Although there were many big names at the festival, Insomniac did everything they can to include all types of up and coming artists. Nick Ledesma and Adam Auburn, who are resident artists at Insomniac’s notorious nightclub Exchange LA, made an appearance to show Beyond Wonderland headliners what nightlife in LA is all about. Insomniac did an amazing job at showing that they are more than just festivals. They are family that knows how to make the best experience for their headliners.
The Overall Experience
All in all, Beyond Wonderland is definitely a festival I would come back to a second or even third time. The overall experience as a headliner is something I think everyone should experience. The festival is amazing in both GA and VIP sections. The music is great, the people are lovely, and the vibe is amazing. The experience that the team over at Insomniac is able to cultivate is just out of this world.
There were moments where Beyond Wonderland felt more like EDC. I say this because its stages were stacked, and set times were rather hard to choose between. This notion vanished as you quickly realized that the festival was actually just the right size. This is only because it was so easy to make it to different stages with nothing but a brisk walk.
Beyond Wonderland is expected to return to Southern California in 2020. Stay tuned for more news at their official website here.